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Apr 28, 2008 06:51 PM

CIA Restaurants

I'd like to take a day trip up to the CIA and have a nice meal at one of the restaurants with my husband. Have you eaten at any of them? Which one was your favorite? I've looked at all of the restaurants' menus online, and they all sound great and interesting. I just can't decide if it's worth the trip, and which one is the best one. Let me know your thoughts.

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  1. american bounty is pretty good. keep in mind that students are cooking and serving. don't hold these folk up to the same level you would expect from a a high-end restaurant. still, it's worth a shot.

    1. from an alum here.......i'd hit up american bounty......if they're booked up ,caterina would be my 2nd choice.......but call ahead first......even for lunch they're always booked up, even during the week......

      1. I had dinner at Caterina and it was fantastic. Students or not, the food and service was very high quality.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Avalondaughter

          I was there a long time ago, but L'Escoffier was excellent, as was American Bounty. I didn't find Caterina (I assume that was the Italian choice) to be as excellent as the other two.

          I find the students acting as servers to be part of the unique dining experience, why go otherwise?

          1. re: dolores

            I just finished reading Michael Ruhlman's "The Making of a Chef", recommended on a different board here, which recounts his experience as a student at the CIA. Really interesting read if you haven't already. Based on the book, I think I would choose American Bounty to eat at, Caterina would be my second choice. The part of the book where he described the students as waiters was very interesting as well.

        2. In the early summer of 2006 we ate at Ristorante Caterina de' Medici. We had a thoroughly delightful time and thought everything was first-rate. Pretty professional, all-in-all. There is a rotation and we were lucky to get some senior students during our visit.
          I don't know how to tell you how to find this out. We stayed at a B&B and the owner had connections and we were made breakfast by two students. Perhaps someone like that might have some inside knowledge about which restaurants are being manned by more experienced students at a specific date.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Scargod

            We went in Feb. to American Bounty and had an absolutely outstanding meal. Earlier that day, a snowstorm hit, and we had a little trouble getting there on time. They called to see if we were o.k., helped us find the restaurant by phone (it can be a little confusing) and came out and helped us into the restaurant. (We had a few little kids with us and it was snowy and icy.) The service was friendly and very, very attentive, and the food was really delicious and beautifully put together.
            I would suggest getting the items that are samplers beautifully plated, and they really get creative and it's a wonderful way to try different things.

            Be sure to stop in the main building and check out all of the gorgeous desserts in the cafe'/bakery. They have some really beautiful and delicious things.

            I can't tell you when I had a nicer day this year. It was lovely to stroll the halls and view the classrooms and to meet some of the students and staffers. I

            Everyone is so friendly....I can't wait to go back and try the other restaurants.

          2. just about every 3 weeks a new set of students are rotated into the kitchens and front of the house. if you're looking based on "experienced" students, the last place they go before graduation is either american bounty or escoffier. caterina and st. andrew's cafe are the first stops of restaurant row where students in the kitchen are rotated every 7 days. it depends on what kind of resturant you're looking to eat at. for a day trip, eating at st. andy's would be nice. it's formal yet informal and i enjoy their menu. i'm kind of biased though, as a current student there, i just got out of front of the house st. andy's and into back of the house bounty.

            2 Replies
            1. re: radioactivebetty

              congrats on the progress; hope that there's no strike/lockout/whatever to slow you down on your studies...

              1. re: radioactivebetty

                We ate at American Bounty today and the food was excellent. Most of the service staff indicated that they were graduating and this was their last week. Service was good and food was tasty. Prices were very good for the nature of food and presentation. Restaurant management is very visible and double checks that things are going well.